Reinstalled Windows on my laptop; now iTunes claims it's a new computer

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by AviationFan, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    My "other" computer (a DELL Latitude laptop) that my wife uses mostly had become infected with malware to the point where a fresh reinstall of Windows XP seemed the only way back to a regular operation. Now that that's done, I copied the backed-up iTunes files back into my wife's iTunes directory (C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\My Music\iTunes). So far, so good, the computer seems happy again, but when I try to play any of her music (purchased from the iTunes store), iTunes claims that the songs are not authorized for playback on our computer.

    Now, I understand that there is a limit to five computers that can be allowed to play back each song, but I'd be a little surprised if a re-installed OS counts as a new computer. Is this what I am seeing, or what is going on?

    Sorry if this is a FAQ; I spent about ten minutes with the search feature without any luck (I am not a regular in the iTunes forum).

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

    - Martin
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Apple always suggests that you de-authorize a computer before you reinstall the OS. Yes, by reinstalling the OS you have effectively created a new computer.
  3. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    When you are going to wipe a drive you must go into iTunes an deauthorize computer, other wise it thinks it is an additional computer when you go to reauthorize it after. Since you didn't do this, go and sign in through iTunes into the iTunes account and deauthorize all computers. Then you can reauthorize it and it will be the only one. If you had authorized others (up to your 5), they will subsequently need to be reauthorized as well.
  4. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Unless Apple has changed it, the "Deauthorize All Computers" command won't show up until the user has authorized all 5 accounts. And even then, you can only use this once during a calendar year.

    If the original poster still has several remaining authorizations, then it doesn't really matter until she/he gets to 5.

  5. micsaund macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2004
    Colorado, USA
    Yep, reinstalling causes a "new computer" trigger. I guess that Apple is not hashing just the hardware, but also some aspect of the OS, so when you re-install, the algorithm generates a new hash, which appears to be a new machine. It's pretty lame IMO, and like you, I found it out the hard way *after* formatted my machine and it's too late to de-authorize.

    Like others have said, though, once you get 5 machines authorized, a button will appear in the My Account in iTunes which lets you wipe all five machines and start fresh.

  6. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    when you deauthorize all five, the deauthorized computers will still play the purchased content. this is something apple doesn't want you to know.
  7. wellslogan macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2009
    Jeez, didn't realize this was the case until I had reinstalled Windows 4 times, then installed windows 7 beta, and that was it. Now I'm stuck with two videos I can't watch until I reset the authorizations, which I can't do until March 18th. Ugh.:mad:
  8. 11800506 macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area

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